Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Mr. Army Chief, please return my land


I am a Dalit by caste and an ironsmith by profession. If the state wanted we Dalits could have lived in this society with dignity. But already oppressed by the state and society, I have been subjected to yet another indignity.

The army confiscated my property and I became homeless. And I think, Mr. Army Chief, it was done with your support. I am saying this because the Army Chief is not a person but an institution who represents the entire Nepal Army.

My illiterate father was misled into signing up for a loan of Rs 44,000, for a sum of five hundred rupees by your Army Jawan Chinikaji Maharjan. No matter how much we paid, we could never pay off the loan. So my father Najarman Kami was mercilessly beaten by Chinikaji everyday.

Years later, our landowners gave us our share of land and we got a piece of land, the only land in this world that we could claim as our own. But our days of misery had not ended.

Chinikaji registered an application with the Shahi Nepali Jangi Adda to issue a stay order against my land and the then Brigadier General of the department wrote a letter to the land reform office in Dillibajar for the order to be carried out.

Mr. Army Chief, can the Jangi Adda issue such an order on private property? How could an honourable military institution carry out an unlawful act to protect the interests of its Jawans?

In 1995, Chinikaji and his two sons serving in the army, Shyam and Rakesh, abducted me and my father and took us to Gorkha. They threatened to kill us and label us Maoists if we spoke out, and forced us to transfer my four annas of land to Chinikaji's name.

The next year, I was forcefully evicted from my home. Then my house was transferred into Chinikaji's name. Mr Army Chief, this is how your personnel got hold of my house and rendered me homeless.

Chinikaji's family is now even more powerful because his youngest son Bipin Maharjan has become a second lieutenant. They remind me of when the women were killed in Bardiya National Park and the Defense Minister's statements following the incident.

Mr. Army Chief, I am just a common man so nobody is bothered about my property that has been snatched. No one benefits by drawing attention to my plight. That is why I could not become the subject of the Dalit Commission, NGOs or political parties. But I do hope that all the human right activists, civil society and journalists will raise my issue as their own.

I also hope, Mr. Army Chief, that you will do justice to me and prove that you are the commander of the entire nation and not just of your army and staff.

Keshav Kami, now homeless, Gongabu

1. karma subba
Very touching story of a helpless man asking justice. I hope the Army chief will intervene in this case and return the land back to the genuine owner through legal process. I think this is just a one of such million cases where land has been grabbed from the poor. It is a tip of the iceberg of atocities in the country because our justice system has failed. Now it is county where might is right and will remain so for the decades to come since no one is interested in sacrificing their time and resources for the good of the country.

2. DG
Army Chief please return my Road.

Open the Public Road linking Maitigharto Bhadrakali. It wass never a closed road in its long history. Nowhere else in the civilized world.The road to Guru -dwara Rakapgunj adjacent to Presidential Palace is always open to the public transport.. In European cities it is open everywhere.Such actions by the army is anti-people and they should have the good sense to correct themself in time to win good will of the people. Such closing of road of vital traffic importance is uncalled off.

3. Army
Yet another attempt to put army name down  I think

4. jange
#1 & 2

These matters are more properly addressed to the Ministry of Defence.

5. hange
While I understand the army's position as the PLA and YCL still exist, I believe that this would be an excellent opportunity for them to display their committment to the community.  They don't have to pay anything: just open the road.  If nothing else, they gain the upper hand in public relations and, of course, Kathmandu gets another vehicle-choked road.

6. koji
@3. Army
No, I don't think he wants to put down the army. I think he just wants his land returned and is trying the only avenue left open to him.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)